Posts Tagged ‘cdn’

Make your Site Faster with Amazon S3 and a CDN

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

Improve Site Performance

Are you looking for a good way to speed your website up and save money at the same time? If so, you may consider using Amazon S3 with a CDN (Content Delivery Network).  Both of these services use distributed servers to reduce latency and load time.  The Amazon S3 service works as hosting for your websites data, while the CDN caches that data on servers throughout the world to allow for fast access to the sites files, regardless of location.

Faster File Storage

Amazon S3 is the file storage solution that Amazon uses for its own site, which receives amake your site faster with amazon s3n enormous amount of traffic each day.  A greater number of servers allows for more visitors to access a site at the same time.  This is great, especially for those who are located somewhere near the region of the Amazon servers.  But for those people accessing the site from abroad, there may be a bit more latency and a bit less responsiveness from the site.

Worldwide Content Distribution

The way to ensure that data is delivered fast to anyone and everyone is to use a content deliver network to cache files on servers worldwide.  Instead of every single request going through the Amazon servers in one location, files can be accessed from a variety of servers, by a variety of visitors, from multiple locations instantaneously.

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Using and Managing AWS – Part 2: Signup for AWS

April 30th, 2009 Comments off

Sign Up For AWS

First things first, if you don’t have an account, go get one. If you do have one, you can use the one you already have. Amazon offers personal and corporate accounts. A person may have both accounts and can choose which to use when purchasing items.

It also may make sense that all employees have a business only account that uses their work email to log into the service. That way you never have an issue where purchases or billing can go to the wrong place.

Or, you may do like I have done in the past, put all expenses on a personal card and expense them back to the company. It’s a little bit more paperwork, but it keeps it open to what already works for both you and your employees.

If you are a developer, the choice is a bit easier, just sign up using whatever card you like.

Once you have your Amazon account, you will need to sign up for AWS. Currently, the menu option to do this is in the menu structure at the left of the screen, below Business Services. It’s called For Developers.


Don’t get stuck on the particular menu item. It will change over time, I’m sure. You can get to the right page by navigating to AWS.AMAZON.COM. From this screen, choose Sign Up Now or Create an Account.

Once you have chosen to sign up, you will need to enter several pages on information. These are very common sense questions like: your name, your email address, your company name and web site, and some credit card information. Your credit card will be billed monthly for the amount of services used. If you don’t use any services, you shouldn’t get billed.

You will also have to agree to the Amazon AWS agreement. This is a multi-page agreement that you must agree to before you can use the services. I’m not a lawyer so I won’t council you on this. This is a legally binding contract though, so you may want your lawyer to take a look at it beforehand.

You can navigate around the AWS pages on via the menu on the right side of the screen (which is not available on all the screens) or via the top, drop down menu.


Once you are signed up, you can choose the various services that you want to use. At a minimum, you should sign up for EC2, S3 and SQS.

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Amazon Web Services – Amazon DevPay

April 29th, 2009 2 comments

Amazon DevPay

Amazon DevPay is an easy to use billing system for AWS developers. Build your cloud application, allow users to sign up and use your application and let Amazon bill them for you.

DevPay is “AWS-Aware” in that it ties into the billing of AWS services. Instead of a user having to sign up for AWS and be billed separately, you can add in the AWS costs to your costs and just bill the users directly.

DevPay is web based and uses Amazon Payments. The web interface allows you to register your application and set your pricing. You can then link to your own web site and your customers will be unaware that they are paying for Amazon services (unless you want them to know).

DevPay allows you to bill a one time charge, a recurring charge (subscription) and metered usage (bill by the hour and/or storage).

One of the nicest things about it is that you are somewhat protected from deadbeats. You won’t get any money back for usage of your product, but Amazon does not try to collect their money from you unless they are able to collect from the customer.


Amazon charges 3.0% of the amount you charge minus any metered usage. That means that if the user uses $1.50 of metered CPU and you bill them $5.00, Amazon will only charge you 3% of $3.50.

Amazon also charges $0.30 for each bill collected from a customer.

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Using and Managing Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Part 1

April 28th, 2009 Comments off

Using and Managing Amazon Web Services (AWS)

I personally believe that AWS is perfect for any development and testing environment. Regardless of how sensitive your data is, you can build your applications and test them in a cloud environment using bogus data.

For production environments, the choice is much harder. Does the country(ies) you operate in have strict privacy, or data on-shoring, laws that would be impact your applications? If you can easily offshore your applications, you can easily use cloud computing.

Does the area where you work have reliable infrastructure? It doesn’t matter if Amazon has 99.99% uptime if your provider is down 50% of the time. You can easily use something like replication and keep a copy of your application’s data within your own data center but if you make that investment, do you really want to run anything in the cloud.

My suggestion to get started would be to use AWS to host a development effort first. Get comfortable with the quirks and gotchas of remote applications. Familiarize yourself with the additional security you will need when running in the cloud. Look at encrypting your data on disk. Amazon will encrypt the data as it travels over the wire.

The need for system administrators and DBAs does not go away by moving to the cloud. It really doesn’t change their jobs much at all. Most modern admins rarely touch the hardware directly anymore, anyway.

Once you’ve decided that it is for you and you have chosen your pilot project, you will need to take the actions described below.

A note to remember as you are working through this book. You only pay for what you use. When you run an instance, you pay for the CPU time that you use. When you use S3 or EBS, you pay for storage (and bandwidth in S3). You pay for Elastic IPs only if you allocate one and don’t attach it to a running instance.

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Amazon Web Services – Mechanical Turk and Amazon FWS

April 24th, 2009 Comments off

Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk is an odd service. It’s called an “on-demand workforce” or peopleware. For large tasks that need to be automated but also require human intelligence, Mechanical Turk is the tool.

One of the examples Amazon uses is if you have 1,000,000 (one million) images that need to be tagged and categorized, you can use Mechanical Turk to “hire” 10,000 employees. You get to pick what you will pay and only those “turks” who want the work will sign up.

Amazon picks up 10% (additive) to whatever you pay someone.

Amazon FWS

FWS is the Amazon Fulfillment Service. This is another odd web service. Instead of using humans, this service has a warehousing component.

The short story is that Amazon has a world class fulfillment capability (i.e. ordering, packing and shipping products). FWS allows a business to tap into that by staging inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers.

Customers can order your products via or any other online or retail sales channel and your products will be packed and shipped from that center.

Actually storing your product at Amazon is called Fulfillment by Amazon and you pay to store your inventory. FWS is the web interface into the fulfillment center to allow you to programmatically send fulfillment requests from your web site or another merchant.

FWS (the API to make the requests) is free. FBA (the actual inventory part of it) is charged by the cubic foot of storage and how it is packed and shipped.

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